The Stronger Life Project: Family Wellness Month

Happy May!

May is such a great month – for so many reasons!

First, it represents the end of cold weather – particularly here in the Northeast! – and the emergence of spring and warmth at last.

May is also a special month because it’s when we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time for us to reflect on our moms and how much we love and appreciate them!

May is also Family Wellness Month. And given that, I thought is only appropriate to spend just a few moments sharing what we can do as parents to ensure the wellness of our families.

I can’t tell you how many parents, and moms in particular, who are always so crazy busy; balancing work, the responsibilities to their kids and family – always seems time to themselves is so rare. And, when it come to fitness, they say they don’t have time – because they’re always putting others in front of themselves.

As parents, I know the thing we want more for our kids than anything is their health and happiness. Well the truth is, when it comes to helping our kids have healthy lives, there’s nothing more important that for US to be taking care of ourselves. And here’s why:

Not only does focusing on your health enable you to be there for your families for the long haul, more specifically MODELING healthy behavior, is possibly the greatest gift you can give your children.

Our kids learn more from what they SEE us doing, than what they hear us saying. And when – especially when – you are busy, SHOWING your kids that you put your health first is important. Showing your kids that you can fit exercise and healthy eating in the busiest of lives, SHOWS them how they too can build the life long habits of good health.

So when you are thinking, and wondering next time whether you have time to get that workout in, time that day to take care of yourself, think twice. If you don’t show your family how you do it, and how important it is for you, they will never learn how important it is for them.

I am reminded of a letter I received from a member – how her behavior influenced her family in unexpected and delightful ways. Here it is:

Dear Koko,

I originally became a member with the goal of losing 30 pounds by my 40th birthday. And, yes, that 30 pounds is gone, but what I really want to share with you are the other changes.

I read a perfect analogy in a book recently: life can be related to dominos lined up to fall in perfect succession. The first domino must fall for all the dominos to fall in order.  If you start at the 4th domino, the first 3 still remain.  Koko was that first domino for me.

Slowly my pantry and freezer were less stocked, opting for fresh, organic ingredients, my veggie drawers were filled and fruit took the place of chips.

My daughter’s lunch was packed with bottled water in lieu of the sugary drinks she’d become accustomed to.  And before I knew it, water was all she wanted.

Memorial weekend we went hiking, zip lining, and boating.  Several times during the hike my kids would yell at me – because I was ahead of them – “Koko it up Mom!”  That’s the new, cool thing to say to me.  And my daughter’s friends have said they’re jealous of our “adventurous” family.

Of course there are other dominos falling as well.   My resting heart rate is a wonderful 54bpm, down from 83.  My blood pressure is a cool 110/62.  My pants are smaller, and even my watch is in desperate need of sizing.  It’s crazy!

If Koko wasn’t a part of my life absolutely none of this would have happened and I couldn’t be more excited about where my life is right now.

It all starts with that first domino, and I want to thank you so very much from my family and myself, for truly making a workout that does just boil down to my showing up and doing it and enabling me to be an example for my family.
I’ll spend the next year looking ahead, but will occasionally look back and reflect on all the domino’s that have fallen and will always see that Koko was the beginning of it all.

Thank you so much!

So when we think about our lives, and the dominos we set in motion for our family – start with the first one…that is with YOU. With you manging your health wisely. Modeling what great decisions look like – for food and fitness; modeling great healthy habits… this won’t just serve you, but will serve your children, and in turn their children, for generations and generations.

This month I salute all of you – for showing your kids and family how to live a healthy life. And finally – last but not least – a huge shout out to all the mothers out there. A very Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Mary Obana
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub

Mindfulness. A Path to Health and Happiness.

We are all so busy these days.  Running from one thing to the next, being pulled in multiple directions, and it seems we are rarely more than an arm’s reach away from our phones which connect us constantly to…. everything.  Text messages, emails, news alerts…

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Taking Advantage of the Spring Season with this Strawberry and Spinach Salad



Now that Spring is officially here it’s time to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables that will be in season! We want to kick off with a recipe that screams Springtime and that is bright and vibrant!

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Get a Fresh Start to Fitness with this Delicious Risotto

The tail end of winter is typically the time where we realize that swimsuit season is coming up fast!

Seeing as how it is National Nutrition Month, we decided to use this month to share our philosophies by giving you some healthy ‘get ready for Spring’ recipes and provide valuable nutrition advice that can be found in our Koko Fuel program. Little by little, we can help you fix your broken diet and jumpstart a healthier lifestyle.

To start, here is an asparagus risotto that will have your mouth watering during the entire prep period.

Spring Asparagus Risotto
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus, divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place 1 cup asparagus and 1 cup broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Combine puree, remaining 2 cups broth, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add remaining puree mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 3 cups asparagus; cook 2 minutes.

Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, cream, salt, and pepper. Transfer risotto to a bowl. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Risotto can be a bit time consuming, but if you take the time and have the patience you can end up with an absolutely delicious dish!

Do you like this recipe? Let us know by dropping your comments below!

Mary Obana
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub

The Stronger Life Project: Kindness is Good For Your Health


My son Kai shared this video with me a few days ago – he said, “Mom, you have to see this.  I know you’ll love it!”

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